Volume 53, 2008
Theory of Knowledge
Диагностика Как Вид Эпистемической Практики
Diagnostics is becoming one of the most important kinds of epistemic practice: accurate and timely diagnosis is necessary not only for ill people, but for economic, social and political systems and institutions, culture, science, technology, and ecosystems. The analysis of researches into diversity of diagnostics used in various branches enabled the author to develop the outline of the philosophical theory of diagnostics, to identify its subject matter and problems, to name the categories and principles of the epistemological and methodological analysis of diagnostics activities, and to characterize its essential components. Diagnostics is defined as the process of developing cognitive perception of the object being investigated (sought for) and identifying it with existing knowledge of the object (or
objects of the same type). Diagnostics has the following constituents: a) determining something known and constant in the unknown and inconstant; b) identifying the single and occurent with the “ready-made” classification schemes and explanatory patterns, i.e. identifying it with the common and consistent; associating new facts with the known, common and consistent by applying well-tried methods, algorithms and technologies. The author identifies two levels of diagnostics: factual (empirical) and discursive. Discourse is defined as a finite course of reasoning based on a common concept. Reasoning is defined as the search for an answer to a cognitively significant question through drawing a conclusion (making a deduction). The author also analyses the role of argumentative, interpretative (explanatory), qualifying and predictive reasoning in the diagnostic thinking. The specific character of the diagnostic search is determined by an all-important role played in its process by a priori normative (paradigmatic) knowledge, as well as by its orientation to the cognition of the single and individual. The article also
touches upon the issue of relationship between diagnostics and research investigation. This enables the author to specify the nature of scientific work and identify the correlation of existing knowledge and innovations.